Get Ready to Jump, Jive, an' Wail"
LOUIS PRIMA TO GET STAR ON HOLLYWOOD WALK OF FAME JULY 25TH. LOUIS PRIMA JR. AND THE WITNESSES FEATURING SARAH SPIEGEL TO PERFORM LIVE IN CONCERT AFTER CEREMONY AT 11:30 AM.
LOS ANGELES, CA--Louis Prima, one of the greatest contributors to popular music and a powerful entertainment influence for the past eight decades, will be presented posthumously with his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame Sunday, July 25th at 11:30 a.m. in front of The Montalbán Theatre (1615 N. Vine Street). Louis Prima will be the 2,413th star to be unveiled. This year also marks Prima's 100th birthday. To commemorate the occasion, his son, Louis Prima Jr., who is now carrying on the legacy of his father's music, will be present to accept the honor along with his sister, Lena Prima. Prima Jr. and his band, The Witnesses featuring Sarah Spiegel, will perform a live concert including many of his father's most famous hits immediately after the ceremony outside the theatre.
The presentation ceremony and concert kick off the day-long festivities for the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce community event Walk the Walk," celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Louis Prima first rose to fame after leaving his native New Orleans for New York in the 1930's, where he became known as the original King of Swing. His music defined the early Swing Era in that city and Hollywood. His incredible output of recordings and appearances on film and on stage between 1934-1939, had legions of fans swing dancing from The Famous Door on 52nd Street in New York to the hottest spots in Hollywood. The swing trend continued to escalate due to Prima's influence. His music skyrocketed in popularity, surpassing the sales of the number one band at the time, Guy Lombardo and his Royal Canadians. Then Prima and his twenty-two piece orchestra scored a tremendous hit with his million-seller, Angelina." He topped the charts throughout the Big Band Era with # l recordings of Sing, Sing, Sing," Josephina," Please No Squeeza Da Banana," Baciagaloop," Felicia No Capicia," Oh Babe," and many others. Prima made entertainment history during the time, breaking all house attendance records wherever he performed across the nation. Even Elvis Presley, when asked where he got his wiggle, replied, From Louis Prima, of course." Downsizing to a smaller group in the 1950's, Prima found renewed popularity in Las Vegas and around the country that continued until his untimely passing in 1978.
Prima's music is timeless, as evidenced by the many covers of his classics that have become modern-day hits for such contemporary superstars as David Lee Roth, Reba McEntire, and Brian Setzer.
His legendary hit Sing, Sing, Sing," was the first song inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1939. But it was in Las Vegas where Louis Prima Sr. and his band, The Witnesses, truly became legendary. Like most high rollers and celebrities, the famed Rat Pack were regulars at what quickly became known as the Wildest Show in Vegas." In 1959, his famous song, That Old Black Magic," won the first-ever Grammy Award for Best Performance by a Vocal Group or Chorus. With numerous hits like Jump, Jive, an' Wail," Just a Gigolo," Buona Sera," When You're Smiling," and more, Prima Sr. was truly an innovator with a distinctive sound and boisterous presence.
Today, Louis Prima Jr. carries on the legacy of his father's music, bringing it to life with his own interpretation and taking it into the future with the energetic style reminiscent of his father and the unique vision that can only come from being the son of a music legend.
Born on Father's Day, Louis Jr. was destined for musical greatness. A virtuoso of all musical instruments, including trumpet and guitar by the time he was 8, young Prima Jr. put together a rock band in the mid 1980's, and performed as the lead singer. Over the past five years, Louis Jr. has set out to put together a show in the vein of his father's with a ferociously swinging band (also called The Witnesses), featuring vocalist Sarah Spiegel, that is winning rave reviews for recent appearances at the New Orleans Jazz Festival, the Hard Rock and the Palms in Las Vegas, the Cicada Club in Los Angeles, Atlantic City Hilton, and more.